We are so proud to show off Nyima Jarju, an ex JCC photography student, whose incredible work is currently on display at both the Birmingham City University Degree Show and a private exhibition in Hockley. We caught up with her to find out how life after College has been.
What did you study at JCC?
I studied art, photography, textiles and dance.
Do you have any advice for students considering studying photography?
I’d tell them to go for it! Studying photography as a degree is one of the best choices I’ve ever made. It has absolutely shaped me as an artist and as a person. It’s important to experiment with photography, to make sure that it’s the right path for you and that you are passionate! University is stressful to those who don’t love what they’re studying.
What area of photography do you specialise in and why?
I specialise in fashion and beauty photography, because I love to communicate my ideas and thoughts through these styles of photography.
Tell us about your FMP on beauty and race?
My final major project explores the idea of attributing beauty to race and how it has set our society’s beauty standards, and how it leads to people who are of darker skin tones being underrepresented. My work explores the lack of diversity and representation of black culture in the media, and the effects that it has on colourism. I have focused on photographing Afrocentric features, with the purpose of showing my audience, the beauty in dark skin. My photographs are statements and declarations of cultural pride and identity. Through my work, I aspire to combat colourism and have a positive impact on our society, by trying to change the standards of beauty.
Do you think art can be used for social change?
I believe that art is used for social change, as it is majorly showcased in the media. Art can influence the way we think and act as individuals, and as a society. As an artist, with my photography I want to create change by showing the world how beautiful everyone is.
What did you enjoy most about your course and what did you find challenging?
I absolutely loved working in the studio, and by having access to unlimited equipment, I have been able to experiment and grow as an artist. At first, I found talking about my work very challenging because I focused on improving my technical skills and didn’t have a strong enough concept behind my images. But I’ve worked on that so now my art has improved a lot! This is why my final major project is my strongest work, because of the message I am communicating.
What are your plans after graduation?
I am planning on starting new projects, and collaborating with artists to create more beautiful work.
What would be your dream photography goal?
I would love to work with big magazines such as Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. Not only because they are worldly recognised and it would be amazing for me as an artist, for recognition, but because shooting for them would help my message get across to big audience.
Any upcoming projects to share with us?
My work has been selected to be published in a known magazine, which I am very excited about. I will be announcing the name of the magazine very soon!
Visit Birmingham City University’s degree show before June 16th to see Nyima’s fantastic work displayed. She’s also holding a private viewing on June 14th from 6:30pm at Lambourne Building, 174 Great Hampton Row, B19 3JP. To see more of Nyima’s work, go to nyimajarju.com or follow her Instagram @nyimaphoto.